Any cloud migration project is a big decision and a complex process.
Migrating to the cloud provides your business with bandwidth flexibility while helping you save money on hardware costs. It also keeps your data in safe hands in the event of device malfunction, damage or theft.
With so many benefits to cloud migration, it’s no wonder that 80% of all enterprise workloads are predicted to move to the cloud by 2025.
Before making the jump, it’s important to consider your options and pick a cloud migration strategy that’s best suited for your business case.
The #1 Cloud Migration Strategies for Your Business
The “six R’s of migration” (as they’re known) are the most common cloud migration strategies businesses use to transport their data to the cloud:
1. Rehosting (Lift and Shift)
Rehosting is a cloud migration strategy that involves data transfer from your on-site data center to a private cloud, hybrid cloud, or public cloud. This strategy is quick, easy, and doesn’t have a major impact on staff. All the information is still available; it’s just saved in a different location.
Although you no longer need on-site servers, rehosting alone doesn’t optimize your existing applications with cloud computing.
It’s simply an exact copy of your systems stored in a cloud environment. However, since your applications are already in the cloud, you’ve already taken the first step, making it easier to upgrade to more powerful cloud computing features in the future.This is one of the most popular AWS cloud migration strategies.
- Minor impact on staff because the applications are not changed and they’re accessible from any device
- Fast and easy
- Typically low cost
- It doesn’t utilize the full capabilities of the cloud
Rehosting is best for companies that aren’t interested in using advanced cloud capabilities in the future, and want to avoid disrupting their employees’ workflows.
2. Replatforming (Lift and Reshape)
In addition to migrating your data to the cloud, some applications are optimized as well. The core architecture of your applications stays the same, but it’s reshaped to make applications faster and easier to manage. While Replatforming is similar to rehosting, it’s the next step.
This migration strategy requires a cloud migration plan and comes with higher upfront costs, but it also lets you take advantage of powerful cloud computing. Not only would your applications be stored in the cloud, they’d operate in the cloud as well.
Cloud computing allows your applications to run smoother, faster, and offer more flexibility compared to applications operating on internal servers.
- Flexible applications
- Increased system performance
- Higher upfront costs
- Requires intensive planning
Replatforming is best for businesses looking to get a taste of what the cloud can offer. This is a great stepping stone into the cloud, building your confidence as you move forward with cloud adoption.
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3. Repurchasing (Replace, Drop, and Shop)
Repurchasing involves moving an application to a new product—usually an open source SaaS platform with cloud native features. This would be like moving your CRM, HR system, or CMS to a different cloud platform for easier management and access to advanced features such as broader network access, faster computing, and increased scalability.
- Cost effective
- Access to advanced features
- Migrate applications selectively
- Learn to use new software and having to re-train team
Repurchasing is best for businesses that have a complicated, highly customized legacy system to move to the cloud or if they’re having trouble with select applications like their CRM or HR system.
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4. Refactoring (Re-Writing and De-Coupling Applications)
Refactoring involves rebuilding your existing applications to operate entirely in the cloud. Applications that perform analytics and computations on the cloud are faster, more scalable, more flexible, and offer more advanced features than local applications.
This is typically the most expensive cloud computing strategy, but it’s also one of the most comprehensive.
- Most scalable
- Best performance
- Most expensive
- Labor intensive
- Relearn software
Refactoring is best for businesses that want to utilize the full potential of the cloud and have a strong need for more features, scalability, and performance.
Before migrating to the cloud, you’ll have to perform an assessment of your existing applications, and you might find that some of them are no longer useful. These applications can be turned off or “retired.” The money saved by removing unnecessary applications can help cover the cost of migrating others.
- Save money
- Remove unnecessary applications
- Assessment takes time
All businesses should retire unnecessary systems, even if they aren’t interested in cloud migration.
Some applications aren’t ready for cloud migration. If you’re still riding out depreciation or simply don’t need to migrate a specific application, why bother spending money and effort?
Retaining is essentially doing nothing. Keep certain applications where they are, and only migrate applications that make sense for your business.
- Save money
- No effect on staff
- No cloud benefits
Retaining works best for any applications that either wouldn’t benefit or aren’t ready for cloud migration.
Choosing the Right Cloud Migration Strategy
Because every company has different goals, there’s no one-size-fits-all cloud migration strategy. Sort through the options and select the strategy that best fits your needs and goals. It could be helpful to outsource your data migration to a managed service provider (MSP). They can handle the technical details and provide unmatched business care to ensure that your data is migrated efficiently.
If you need help deciding between migration strategies, the experts at Buchanan are here to help! We have years of experience providing IT solutions to businesses of all sizes and can point you in the right direction or even handle the migration process. Contact us for a free consultation and harness the power of the cloud for your business.
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